Dollar Store Deals, Rip-Offs And Dangers
Dollar Store Deals, Rip-Offs And Dangers
My little loves are 4 years, 11 months, 2 weeks & 1 day old.
If you are like me, you LOVE your local dollar stores. I especially love the ones without any hidden extras. (Ex. $1.19, $1.49, $2.99, etc.) Everything only a buck and you know it! Who can resist that? Admittedly, I can’t walk out without spending $20-$40+, but it’s always a steal! Heck, if it weren’t for those cheap Dollar Tree ovulation and pregnancy tests during my trying to conceive years, I would have gone broke for certain!
I buy picture frames, sometimes lipstick and nail polish if it looks fresh and is a name brand I am aware of like Maybelline, etc., household items, cards.. (if It’s not my immediate family or else I feel guilty 😯 .) When needed sometimes party supplies, Christmas, 4th of July, New Year’s and other decorations and favors. Plus, can you find a better place to get helium balloons? Heck no! However, they are saying that some items are unsafe (or just plain not a deal) to buy at these locations, and I just wanted to share this information with those who may not know, as did I not know all of this information for myself.
Let’s discuss the deals and dangers of the dollar stores.
Dollar store don’t buys
Some Most foods
I don’t believe personally in buying my food outside of a real food store. I may buy a pack of Good & Plenty for myself, a box of Texas Toast from time to time, and an occasional bag of chips, (if name brand only), but nothing beyond that. Certain foods can be dangerous to buy it is said, and you should be careful. My mother-in-law is at this store every day and I won’t consume her ‘goodies.’
a) The food there can come from countries with unregulated food quality standards.
b) The food may be very close to, or even exceed important expiration dates. (So at the very least..check those.)
c) Avoid canned foods and pantry items at the dollar store. You can usually find these at places like Walmart, where their generic brands, or on sale name brands, can sell for even less most times. It’s not really a bargain you will find.
2) Items for baby
Don’t buy sippy cups, pacifiers, food bowls, etc. from dollar stores for your baby. Make sure all such items are BPA free, and even then, I still will only shop in true baby stores for such items. My children are just too precious. And there is possibility of certain items coming from unregulated countries with far lower standards. Is that worth saving the extra buck or two? Not in my book. You want only the best quality items for your infant or twinfants. Don’t be swayed by the price, as quality and safety standards count more here than anywhere!
3) Plastic wrap and sandwich bags
I have been guilty of the latter a couple of times, but not for food, for other purposes. I’m smart enough to know their wrap STINKS! Nothing but Saran Wrap for our household. The quality on these, or lack there of, is obvious.
I’ve done it before…they don’t last! Also, I just learned that they also contain carbon zinc, as opposed to alkaline. These may leak. I’ll never make this mistake again.
5) OTC pain medicines, etc.
I’d NEVER buy medicine from a dollar store. Consumer reports warns that aspirin and other medications such as these may be past expiration dates, and the labels stating where the item was manufactured may not even be accurate. (SCARY!) When it comes to something this important, buy your medications from a more reputable store. Who wants to take the chance?
(I know a woman who buys her diet pills there. Very scary! Don’t do the same please.)
They may not have the same levels of vitamins in these dollar store versions as in the real deal. (Its been proven to happen.) Never take any chances to save a few bucks on this one.
My mother-in-law does this to. Their toys are highly lacking in quality so they tend to break easily and become a choking or other injury hazard. And they also may have unsafe levels of lead in them. You won’t find a one toy I betcha that wasn’t made in China, in case you were wondering about that one. I know this happens in many other stores to, but they are more regulated for safety in retail toy stores. Spend more when it comes to your child’s toys. (Of course, especially for children that are very young and still put objects into their little mouths.) The quality overall stinks anyhow. You do get what you pay for in this instance, although coloring books and stuff are a find there.
8 ) Electrical items
My mother-in-law also does this. (She’s 91 so I cut her a break, but I now warn her with this new knowledge.) She may buy light bulbs, an extension cord, or a night light to save money. This I never do at a dollar store. You have to make sure all things that use electricity inside of your home are UL labeled. If not, they can be a big-time fire hazard. Nobody wants that! Also, I have read they may even have the UL labels attached that can be fake. Who’d want to put their family through THAT risk? Certainly not I, so do not buy.
What is a real dollar store deal?
1) Gift wrap
Wrapping paper, bows and ribbon compared to your local stationary store, are truly one heck of a steal.
(If you need to buy paper in bulk for Christmas though..Walmart value packs are where it’s at!)
2) Balloons, party favors and decorations
3) Greeting cards
Most of the makeup is fine as long as it isn’t expired. Many are name brands you find in CVS for example. Those I will purchase. I personally won’t use any full-face make up from there. Lips and nails I find OK, as long as the nail polish is fresh. I can usually tell. Definitely NO mascara. (Just for me. I don’t really use it anyhow, but I don’t take chances near my sensitive eyes.)
5) Cleaning supplies are OK.
According to Good Housekeeping, the dollar store ‘off beat’ name brands work just as well as the real deal. I still personally like my name brand supplies though. On sale you may get more and pay very little over dollar store prices, especially when on sale, from say Pathmark for example. Some are definite bargains though. There aren’t any dangers known there so clean away.
6) Pregnancy/ ovulation tests…BUY UP!
Just be sure to check expiration dates. I never had any problem with these. All dates I checked & bought were up to snuff. Evaporation lines are common on the dollar store pregnancy tests for me, not for all women. You just have to make sure you read the HPT in the time limit, despite temptation (you know who you are) and don’t crack the test apart to observe. Definitely do back up a faint positive with a pricier test like Answer or First Response at Walmart should you get a nice pink line in the time limit. The OPKS are also a steal compared to retail stores and are a find! POAS addicts like I once was are totally making out in this arena.
7) Gift bags
I ALWAYS buy them there. $5 at the stationary store? ARE THEY NUTS?! They only get used once and then tossed.. HELLO!!
8 ) Picture frames
I have far too many pictures to spend a lot of money on every frame. Only certain photos will I splurge for. If these break I won’t cry at all. I’ve been buying them for years, and they get the job done.
9) Hair items
Some are name brand to like Goody. My hair brush is a dollar store brush, and I buy my little stretchy ties for the girls hair there. Also, bows and headbands when they have them to. It’s a really great savings! Their scrunchies save me lots of loot to!
10) School supplies
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Only because at Walmart you may get just as good of a deal and much more quality or quantity. Like in the case of dollar store icky glue sticks, non-Elmer’s glue, scissors, composition notebooks, cruddy pens, cheap crayons. (For school these aren’t so terrific.) The quality will be better and on sale, maybe even cheaper at times somewhere else. Some stuff I have bought without problem. Just know your game is all.
Well, I guess we have covered enough ground on that. I’ve learned a few things myself to. Feel free to add below if you know of something else I may have missed.
Happy shopping & happy saving folks!